While India created another unenviable record of registering highest single-day spike in coronavirus cases in the country with over 18.5 thousand cases registered in the last 24 hours, the Union health ministry on Saturday provided a more optimistic appraisal of the state of affairs in the country’s fight against Covid-19 pandemic outbreak.
Health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan underlined India has 58% recovery rate from the disease, which translates to close to 3 lakh recoveries out of the total caseload of 5,08,953 recorded so far since the outbreak. His ministry also pointed out that India’s mortality rate due to the contagion was only 3% and the doubling rate was close to 19 days, a big departure from 3-days recorded before a nationwide lockdown was clamped in the country earlier this year on March 25.
“Our recovery rate has gone above 58% and around 3 lakh people have recovered from COVID19. Our mortality/fatality rate is near 3% which is very less. Our doubling rate has come down to nearly 19 days, which was 3 days before the lockdown,” Harsh Vardhan was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
India is currently the fourth worst affected country in terms of total number of infections with the United States, Brazil and Russia faring even worse on that count. However, if one were to look at the total number of casualties, India ranks 8th on the list with Russia being the only country with fewer deaths but a higher number of cases than India. Death toll in India is at 15,685, according to the latest health ministry data released on Saturday.
While the government has cited figures to show that the doubling rate has increased, it remains worrying that while it took 110 days for coronavirus infections in the country to reach one lakh mark, it took just 39 days more to go past the five-lakh mark on June 27. There has been a rise of 3,18,418 infections in just 17 days beginning June 1, according to data put out by PTI.
India still has 1,97, 387 active cases and the rising trend of the disease is showing no signs of abating. The silver lining comes from the relatively low fatality rate and high recoveries of patients, which stands at 2,95,880 as of Saturday. India is also 4th on the list of recoveries behind USA, Brazil and Russia as per data available on Worldometers.info. Experts have pointed out that a high recovery rate sometimes can be misleading as it can have a direct relation with a high number of positive cases in a territory. For example, the USA’s recovery rate is currently over 40% but it also has the most number of infections at 2,553,068. Brazil with 1,280,054 cases has even a better recovery rate of over 54%, which translates to close to 69 thousands recoveries, as per data available on Worldometers.info.
India definitely ranks better than the USA, Brazil and Russia when it comes to total cases per million of population, while the USA has 7,714 cases per million, Brazil has 6,023 cases per million and Russia has 4,301 cases per million against India’s 370 cases per million, which is amongst the lowest in the world. On this parameter, India ranks 117th amongst the over 210 countries, affected by the virus.
Experts, however, have said that this should be seen in the context of the total number of tests conducted per million of the population.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, India has tested 79,96,707 samples up to June 26 with 2,20,479 samples being tested on Friday, the highest in a day since the beginning of the pandemic. Despite the increasing number of tests being conducted, India ranks 139th in terms of tests conducted per million of the population. India has conducted 5,795 tests per million of the population which is significantly low in comparison with other table toppers like the USA- 94,733 tests/million, Brazil- 13,766 tests/million and Russia- 128,140 tests/million.